CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James and these Cleveland Cavaliers have risen to the top.
James scored 22 points with 11 assists and made all the right moves in the closing minutes as the too-tough-at-home Cavaliers set a franchise record with their 58th win - and 10th straight - by beating the New Jersey Nets 98-87 on Tuesday night.
With 11 games left in the regular season, the Cavs already have surpassed the club mark of 57 wins shared by the 1988-89 and 1991-92 teams, when Brad Daugherty, Mark Price and Co. could beat anyone in the Eastern Conference except Michael Jordan 's Chicago Bulls .
Cleveland, which trailed 82-81 with less than 4 minutes left, also improved to an NBA-best 33-1 at home.
Vince Carter scored 20 and Jarvis Hayes 18 for the Nets, who are running out of time to make the playoffs.
New Jersey trailed all night before Keyon Dooling 's 3-pointer with 3:54 left gave the Nets an 82-81 lead, their first since 3-0.
James took things from there.
He sent a pass into the left corner for Delonte West , whose 3-pointer made it 84-82. After a New Jersey turnover, the Nets lost forward Anderson Varejao on the baseline and James found him alone for a layup to put the Cavaliers ahead by four.
Dooling missed a jumper and James was fouled on a drive. With Cleveland fans chanting ''M-V-P'' the megastar dropped both free throws. Rookie Brook Lopez scored on a tip-in for New Jersey, but James then whipped a pass to Mo Williams , whose 3-pointer made it 93-84, a basket that allowed the Cavs to finally relax.
James was involved in every point during the crucial 12-2 run, scoring four points with three assists.
In the first quarter, James moved into the Big O's neighborhood.
With his first basket, James joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to post 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a season at least four times. Robertson, who once averaged a triple-double for a season, did it six times.
Larry Bird reached the 2,000-500-500 plateau three times in his career, and John Havlicek and Michael Jordan each did it twice.
It was Cleveland's second win in four nights over New Jersey, which came in four games behind Chicago for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets were again without guard Devin Harris , their leading scorer, who missed his fifth straight game with a shoulder injury.
Varejao, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Williams scored 16 apiece and West had 13 points with nine rebounds for the Cavs, who again showed they are much more than James.
Dooling had 11 points and 10 assists for the Nets.